$52 Million Project Completed Ahead of Schedule
(December 3, 2008) The $52 million I-95/MD 5 (Branch Avenue) interchange improvement project in Prince Georges County has been completed. The project, scheduled for completion in summer 2009, finished eight months ahead of schedule. Prior to construction, inner loop motorists shared an entrance/exit ramp to merge onto northbound and southbound MD 5, creating a dangerous weave condition. Capital Beltway motorists also wishing to access southbound MD 5 would merge and crawl along the outside shoulder.
The State Highway Administration (SHA) began the $52 million interchange reconstruction project in spring 2006 to reduce congestion and improve safety at the interchange. The corridor is one of the most congested and heavily traveled routes in Prince Georges County, carrying more than 122,000 vehicles a day.
The 1.5 mile project included construction of a new flyover ramp from I-495 to southbound MD 5, restoration of the ramp from northbound MD 5 to the inner loop of the Capital Beltway, construction of a new ramp from Auth Road at Auth Place to access the inner loop of the Capital Beltway, and improvements to pedestrian access with a crosswalk along MD 5 at Auth Road.
The completion of the I-95/MD 5 interchange marks another milestone along the I-95 Corridor, said Maryland Transportation Secretary John D. Porcari. Under Governor OMalleys leadership, safety is always our top priority and this project will have a substantial positive impact on the safety of motorists using this interchange.
During a weekend in January 2008, a section of MD 5 traffic was rerouted allowing crews to install structural steel for the new flyover ramps bridge. On a Saturday night this past April, SHA closed the Capital Beltway overnight to install structural steel for the ramps second bridge. Twelve, 20-ton, curved steel beams were erected and bolted together directly over the travel lanes of I-95. In addition, five massive cranes were used to lift the beams.
A majority of the potential through-traffic that would have driven along the Beltway avoided the area. SHA was able to open I-95 to traffic by 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.
Additionally, SHA made improvements in late summer at the end of the new flyover ramp from southbound I-95 to southbound MD 5 to address concerns about the new merge movement.
The contractor for the project was Cherry Hill Construction, Inc. of Jessup.